This and That

Monday, September 8, 2008
- The federal government has taken control of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in an effort to stabilize our economy. While I'm hoping that this means that the average consumer will no longer be bitch-slapped by the invisible hand of Adam Smith, I am highly suspect that the federal government can effectively stabilize anything.

- Turns out former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez was even dumber than previously thought. His mishandling of classified information is so egregious, I have a hard time believing the story's veracity. But then I remember that he was appointed by that bastion of intellectual accomplishment, George W. Bush, and suddenly the world makes sense again.

- In another shocking development, it appears that the White House routinely ignored the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in regards to the war in Iraq. Is it January yet?

- I've been working on an RFP (Request for Proposal) for the last week or so. I hate RFP's. I hate them with the white-hot passion of a thousand suns. Whoever invented this vomitous process should have their pubes pulled out with tweezers one at a time, followed by their nose hairs. Unfortunately, they're the process standard used in my industry, so I see them fairly frequently. The problem with this one? The account team requested engineering support on August 27th, and I was assigned immediately. It's now Monday, September 8th, and I received the final scope on Saturday. But it's Absolutely Imperative that I provide my deliverable As Soon As Possible, because, clearly, I'm Holding Up the Show. The design in question has 130 locations, and they want several options. And this is why I dislike working with sales people.

So I'll be scarce for a bit, while I churn and burn in an effort to meet these people's expectations. If you need me, I'll be the one with the blood dripping out of my ears...

9 comments:

vince said...

The account team requested engineering support on August 27th, and I was assigned immediately. It's now Monday, September 8th, and I received the final scope on Saturday. But it's Absolutely Imperative that I provide my deliverable As Soon As Possible, because, clearly, I'm Holding Up the Show. The design in question has 130 locations, and they want several options. And this is why I dislike working with sales people.

Oh, I feel your pain. Being small, I don't get the size projects you do, but I do get projects where I've done a bid, don't hear from the people for 8 months to a year, and they suddenly want it done As Soon As Possible and get very whiny when I explain that I will do my best, but get in line.

Hang in there!

Shawn Powers said...

I hate RFP's. I hate them with the white-hot passion of a thousand suns.

A-friggen-men. Not just the little yellow suns either.

Janiece Murphy said...

Shawn, I often wonder if the customers that issue these pieces of crap hate them as much as we do.

From the vendor perspective, it feels like customers issue them so they can point and laugh, while making exclamations of "Dance, my monkey, dance!" when all the while they already know which vendor will "win."

Jim Wright said...

Hey, sounds like every day in military weapons development:

"Yeah, I know we dicked around with endless meetings and power point presentations and technical bullshit and contract negotiations and redesign and feature creep and the dozen O-5's who just had to get their clueless opinions in and the fact that we still haven't got either documentation or certified testing procedures, but we're going to need you to review the entire process and sign off on the acceptance test right away! You're holding up the process, Warrant!"

My reply, "Riiiiight. I'll get right on it. Just as soon as I get back from lunch. Don't page me."

John the Scientist said...

From the vendor perspective, it feels like customers issue them so they can point and laugh, while making exclamations of "Dance, my monkey, dance!" when all the while they already know which vendor will "win."

No we don't like it either. But company regs require triple bids, hence triple RFPs, for any project over $100,000. Usually, I know who's going to win before I write the RFP based on cost and geographic coverage, unless we've overloaded that vendor from other RFPs and I need to move to my second choice.

MWT said...

"A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

Too bad that can't be made as widely applicable as it ought to be.

Janiece Murphy said...

John, that's why RFP's are such a fucking waste of my time. If you already know who's going to win (and let's face it, in 99% of the cases, you do,) why are the other two vendors fucking around with it? So the purchasing department can cover they asses, that's why.

Sorry for the froth - I just really dislike processes that everyone knows are a complete waste, but the "system" says we have to do it.

It makes me throw up in my mouth a little...

Anne C. said...

"A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

Damn, I wish I could say this to some of the contractors I work with.

In our case, the owner's rep needs 3 bids so he knows the contractor's not going to screw him over with his cousin's overpriced, underscoped bid. How often that actually happens anymore, I'm not sure. Well, actually... the contractor lied to us on our budget amount for our railing, then showed up with a subcontractor who was willing to do a dumbed down version of our railing for the actual budget (a totally screwed up budget, by the way) number.
No, I don't have any prejudices in that area at all. I don't know how you could think that. ;)

Janiece Murphy said...

My personal favorite is when some fuckwit wants to prove how very technical they are, and so include a bunch of questions regarding our compatibility with a laundry list of RFC's.

While we usually comply (we sit on most of the boards), we still have to look each one up to ensure we comply completely. If the fuckwit in question had any intention whatsoever of deploying an application that needed private SIP Extensions then it probably wouldn't piss me off so much.

But the fuckwit usually couldn't identify the components of a SIP header if his life depended on it.